Universiti Teknologi Petronas alumni flying high around the world


‘It is not possible to perform my job satisfactorily without proper emphasis on early fundamentals,’ said Yew, attributing this to his first two years of undergraduate studies at UTP.

OVER the last 25 years, Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) has produced graduates who have gone on to become leaders in their chosen fields, with a fair few making their mark beyond Malaysia’s shores.

One such UTP alumni is Henry Yew, who graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in 2010, and is now flying the UTP flag high in the United States.

“The work that I do is extremely niche in my industry, with different types of challenges requiring innovative and advanced solutions. I perform engineering analyses of exterior wall systems that include glazed curtain walls and window walls, as well as metal panel systems and stone cladding. My design work must be compliant with applicable design standards and building codes.

“I get a lot of satisfaction being able to see the final product when the curtain walls and other exterior cladding are installed. By seeing the completion of a building, I get to see my work materialise right before me,” says the 34-year-old façade structural engineer with Curtain Wall Design & Consulting, Inc in Texas.

A member of the ASTM International subcommittee on glass use in buildings, Yew contributes actively to the development of standards related to structural design of glass as a building or cladding material.

Yew, who has a Masters and PhD in civil engineering from Texas Tech University, attributes his professional success to the education received at UTP.

“The fundamentals are crucial to the work that I do, and I am referring to fundamentals that are learnt during the first two years of my undergraduate studies. It is not possible to perform my job satisfactorily without proper emphasis on early fundamentals,” he says.

‘We have determined that 100% of our students must have international exposure abroad,’ said Prof Nor Hisham.‘We have determined that 100% of our students must have international exposure abroad,’ said Prof Nor Hisham.

Graduates with a global mindset

The global employability of UTP graduates is not uncommon, says deputy vice chancellor student affairs Prof Dr Nor Hisham Hamid.

“When we started the university 25 years ago, our intention was never to limit our alumni to only work within Malaysia. Today, we’re encouraging graduates to explore opportunities outside Malaysia and we have restructured the curriculum to include the inculcation of a global mindset among students.

“When we talk about teaching and learning it includes the conversation about producing talent for the global context.

“Previously student mobility was not a key component of student development, but this has now become a priority on the global mindset.

“We have determined that 100% of our students must have international exposure abroad, whether it’s through student exchange, research attachment, summer programme or internship,” he says, pointing to the need for graduates to be agile especially in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.”

In Yew’s case, the opportunity came when he was completing his postgraduate degrees in the US.

“You may find living and working abroad to your liking, and you may eventually decide to return home. But the experience will only further enrich you as an individual and no matter what your ultimate decision is, you should have no regrets,” he says.

Bharat attributes his time spent at UTP to his global career journey.Bharat attributes his time spent at UTP to his global career journey.

UTP’s multicultural campus community is another attribute that plays a role in shaping the students’ global mindset.

For instance, Bharat Singh, 39, who was originally from India spent four years at UTP while undertaking a Master of Science in Information Technology. He graduated in 2015 and settled in Germany where he has family.

He founded an IT start-up, BGOS Group – which has raked in revenues above RM1mil – where he also serves as the chief technology officer. The group offers among others IT, financial trading and consulting services with plans to set up a BGOS (Bharat Graphics Operating System) research lab in the future.

Looking back, he says the time spent at UTP was a plus in his global career journey.

“The university has a great number of international students with different skill sets and an environment to do open research and learn great IT skills from multiple sources, especially libraries and labs.

“I learnt a lot while at UTP and a few skills are still used to this day,” he says.

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